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To the Editor:—
Your editorial on "Noise-Induced Hearing Loss" (195:1054, 1966) brought up the thought that conditions which take many years to produce could be very difficult to verify experimentally. I find that anyone in a vocation entailing noise usually has a hearing loss after working a number of years in it. Farmers (tractors without mufflers), policemen (target practice), carpenters (pounding nails, power saws), machinists (pounding on metal), and foundry workers usually show a fairly severe loss after five years. Of course, all they notice at first is that their wives always mumble. I wonder if the noise level at 2 feet from a hammer pounding on a metal bar isn't considerably more than 85 db or if even the sound reaching Beethoven's ears from the piano wouldn't be more than that, especially after his hearing was impaired enough so that it had to be louder for him to
Manning EL. Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. JAMA. 1966;196(10):918-919. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100230161049